DOLE to provide temporary wage employment to workers affected by Luzon quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 18) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will assist workers on a 'no work, no pay’ scheme by providing emergency employment during the enhanced community quarantine.

The labor department will expand one of its flagship programs, Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating Displaced/Underprivileged Workers (TUPAD), to cover workers in Luzon who are affected by government measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

"Pagka ikaw ay informal worker at mawalan ka ng trabaho dahil dito sa enhanced community quarantine, bibigyan ka namin ng trabaho,” Labor secretary Silvestre Bello IIII said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

[Translation: If you are an informal worker and you lose your job because of the enhanced community quarantine, we will give you a job.]

Under the TUPAD program, both informal and formal workers are provided temporary wage employment, limited to 10 days. The nature of their work will be the disinfection of their houses and immediate vicinity.

“The qualified beneficiaries are the underemployed, self-employed workers and displaced marginalized workers who have lost their livelihood or whose earnings were affected due to the enhanced community quarantine against COVID-19,” DOLE's Order No. 210 read.

Workers are to be given the prevailing highest minimum wage in the region and will be provided coverage under group micro-insurance for the duration of the work contract to be shouldered by DOLE.

The DOLE regional offices were also told to provide cleaning solutions and ensure that the program beneficiaries are properly advised to follow preventive measures against COVID-19.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called on employers to implement a work-from-home arrangement to help contain COVID-19. He also appealed to employers to continue paying their workers during the Luzon-wide quarantine, which resulted in the suspension of public transportation and restriction of most people to their homes except for those from sectors providing basic services.